Hoovering narcissist

A hoovering narcissist: how to deal with being triggered

In this video, I go into the hoovering narcissist and the challenges of being hoovered. Sadly, it can be a very draining experience to be hoovered. It’s challenging because mostly the behaviour of a narcissist is based on their knowledge of your triggers and emotions. Therefore, it’s important to recognize what’s going on in order to be able to decide how you want to deal with it.

This video is an addition to my earlier in-depth article about why and how narcissists hoover and how to deal with it. I hope this video can be helpful to you in some way. To get updates on new videos you can subscribe to my Youtube channel here.

I wish you strength and more kindness in the future.

Video Transcript

It can be very challenging to deal with hoovering as it’s very personal and mostly the behaviour of a narcissist is based on their knowledge of your triggers and emotions.

I’m sorry if you’re experiencing hoovering or have experienced any of this and I hope this video can provide some helpful insights to you. I will go deeper into the challenge of being hoovered and how to possibly deal with it. I like to emphasize that this video is only my point of view and I try to speak from a place of compassion in order to hopefully be helpful to you.

What is hoovering?

Hoovering is a narcissist trying to trick or bait you into breaking no contact and re-engaging with them. After a breakup or going no contact a narcissist might try to suck you back into the abusive relationship in order to gain narcissistic supply. If they succeed, the consequence is being sucked back into a cycle of abuse.

Therefore, I think it’s essential to learn about hoovering in order to recognize and decide how to deal with it. In my other video I go deeper into 10 examples of hoovering tactics of a narcissist. I recommend watching that in order to see the variety of hoovering and to better recognize it.

Now, in general, the way to deal with hoovering is to not engage. And if not possible to fully go no contact, it is then to limit contact to only necessary non-emotional interaction in the most distant form possible. Knowing this, however, doesn’t change the challenge of hoovering. Therefore, I’ll try to go into why hoovering is so challenging.

Why hoovering is so challenging

First of all, there is a difference between the words of a narcissist and their long-term actions. This is a core sign of a narcissist. In the hoover attempt, they could state declarations of love and at the same time hoover others and search for more narcissistic supply. A narcissist doesn’t have the intention to really work things out or to work on themselves. There won’t be any real change on a deeper emotional level. They will try to use the methods you seem most sensitive for and also abuse your positive qualities such kindness, love, belief, or hope. Sadly, responding to hoovering would be opening a door for more emotional abuse.

If you are sensitive to helping others they might use the method that they aren’t doing well or they need help. If you have a weakness for feeling loved they will try to love-bomb you and say that they have changed. It’s thus all very personal. Therefore, remember it’s all manipulation based on their knowledge of your triggers, emotions, and weaknesses and they will (ab)use their knowledge.

Clearly, it’s brutal and manipulative behaviour. It’s simply not sincere and there is only emptiness in the world of ego. They won’t change their actions once they have successfully hoovered you. A hoover will thus never be what you might hope it will be. You will be back in the same abusive or unequal situation and probably lose a bit more of yourself every time.

Examples of how hoovering attempts trigger you

I will now go into some examples of how hoovering attempts could trigger you. Hoovering is customized by their knowledge of your emotional vulnerabilities. They know what you care about and what your triggers are. This is what makes it so challenging. Sadly, they have no boundaries in what they will do to get your attention again.

Some examples of how they could trigger you by their hoovering attempts are:

    • Your hope in someone being able to change or the belief that this person can change or be helped. Clearly, you want the person you love to be helped and possibly rescue them. A narcissist will try to abuse this hope.
    • Another example is your denial of what’s really going on. It’s normal you want to deny what happened because accepting it seems very brutal and makes it definitive. You might feel like you will lose the time you had or the good times in the love-bombing phase. It can be cruel to accept that this was not real but conditional love and thus also a form of manipulation.
    • You being a sweet, good, and empathic person.
    • Your wish to be loved, loneliness, or a fear of abandonment. You might mistake conditional love for unconditional love.
    • Your guilt, fear, anxiety, lack of self-love, or shame. You might doubt or fear whether you can take care of yourself and therefore feel like you need their support.
    • You feeling an obligation or responsibility towards them. This could be that you (desperately) want to make the relationship work.
    • And lastly, you wanting something such as revenge, an apology, closure, or possibly simply show you’re doing great without them and that you have moved on. You could also want to explain or justify yourself. It’s a form of not being able to let go and therefore attachment remains.

Now, from all these examples it becomes clear we need to realize true emotional detachment from the narcissist. If we can detach, there will be no more emotional hooks they can try to use. In a twisted way, they force you to work on yourself. If you are able to shift your attention to yourself and you sincerely don’t care about the narcissist anymore, you will have control over your life. You thus always have this control.

What to know and recognize when being hoovered

It’s very important to remember hoovering is a game of manipulation and every attempt is a manipulation technique. Decide not to play the game. It’s easy to say to have no contact with a narcissist but actually succeeding can be very difficult. The hoovering can go to extremes and you might question whether it will ever stop. You might feel like you won’t survive. It thus can require a lot of strength and courage. Know you will get there and you are strong enough!

Now, these are some things that you need to know and recognize when being hoovered:

  1. Realize your health is at risk because it’s a very unhealthy situation. It can be both mentally and physically unsafe and unhealthy.
  2. Understand and try to accept there won’t be closure, an apology, an explanation, or a peaceful ending.
  3. It doesn’t matter what you do or whether you change. You can’t do anything differently because it will never be enough to fulfill the unending needs of a narcissist. There is no such thing as having to earn love as true love should be unconditional.
  4. Know the love-bombing stage is not real unconditional love. Idealization is empty.
  5. It’s a waste of time to try to prove something to a narcissist. There is no reasoning or normal communication. There is no underlying authenticity or foundation to build a deeper connection.
  6. And lastly, their behaviour is not about you. It’s about them. You are not responsible for the behaviour of others. Don’t take this responsibility.

How to deal with hoovering

Now, in my opinion, the best way to deal with hoovering would be to not get sucked back in and not re-engage. Work on emotional detachment and learn about your triggers. A narcissist stops hoovering when they have no doubt about the fact that they will not get any narcissistic supply from you. Block them, stay no-contact, and focus on yourself.
It’s important not to blame yourself if you have been hoovered back in and find out nothing has changed. Try to see why you were triggered and learn from it. You will become stronger and simply try it again with more certainty. To conquer the hoovering attempts and not engage you could write down why you ended the relationship and the unhealthy dynamics that were involved. It can be helpful to write down a list of all the bad and draining experiences you had with this person.

Questions to ask yourself to recognize what’s going on

In my opinion, it can also be very useful to ask yourself good and honest questions about the situation. I like to share some questions here that I think can be useful:

  1. Does this person want me to develop, have kind thoughts about myself, and wants me become more confident?
  2. Does this person make me less doubtful or did I feel more confused or a need to ‘work’ harder on the relationship?
  3. Did I feel it was loving and effortless or that I needed to change myself more and more to make it work?
  4. Does my intuition tell me there is a deeper connection with them and is this person kind and loving in an unconditional way?
  5. Does this person seem to only care about themselves and what I did wrong?
  6. Do I feel sincere attention and empathy when this person listens to me or when I share my feelings?

Write the answers down to these questions and you will know when it’s an unhealthy situation. Know these are things that won’t change. Read your answers every hoover attempt and choose with awareness to not respond! Know within they don’t have control over you anymore. You can decide not to engage.

Shift the attention to yourself

Try to shift the attention to yourself again and to be loving, compassionate, and kind to yourself. You deserve this!
It can be tough to shift attention to yourself again and I believe conscious breathing or meditation can help with the mental aspect of shifting attention to yourself again. You can learn more about this on my website.

I hope this video was helpful to you in some way and I wish you strength and more kindness in the future!

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